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Blood Oxygen Levels

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Blood Oxygen Levels

Postby mitch_b24 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:14 pm

Are there Hammer products or certain foods that help increase blood oxygen levels that would help with altitude training/racing?
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Re: Blood Oxygen Levels

Postby steve-born » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:02 am

Hello Mitch -

There's a pretty good article about this topic at this link - http://www.livestrong.com/article/344130-foods-to-increase-the-oxygen-in-the-blood/ - on the Livestrong website. Keep in mind that some of these suggestions are to help resolve iron-deficiency anemia, which only a blood test can reveal. We do not advocate the use of iron supplements, the explanation of which is can be found in the short article "Iron - Yes or No?" at http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/iron-yes-or-no.5574.html

As you'll read in the article, iron most definitely plays an important role in healthy red blood cell production, though too much iron has negative effects. Eating iron-rich food is not problematic (at least not unless you go way overboard) but unless iron-deficiency anemia is diagnosed via blood test there is no need to take iron supplements.

Another good link from the Livestrong site is http://www.livestrong.com/article/110669-natural-raise-oxygen-level-blood/ and you'll notice the suggestion of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10. You'll get plenty of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) in Premium Insurance Caps (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/premium-insurance-caps.pic1.html). Vitamin E can also be found in this product, though for the best vitamin E "coverage" I think that AO Booster (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/ao-booster.aob.html) is a phenomenal product. More info about AO Booster can be found in Endurance News #61 at http://www.hammernutrition.com/downloads/ENews/ENissue61.pdf (starts on the first page).

Coenzyme Q10, as well as its analogue, idebenone, are found in Race Caps Supreme (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/race-caps-supreme.rcs.html). While very similar in molecular structure, idebenone has a unique characteristic that CoQ10 does not, which is its unique ability to operate under hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions, helping to produce energy and maintain high energy levels without creating free radicals. In other words, under the same cellular low oxygen conditions that can cause CoQ10 to act as a pro-oxidant, idebenone helps prevent free radical damage while still supporting ATP production.

In the second article on the Livestrong website, the author(s) also recommend Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), and they provide a couple of food suggestions that are EFA-rich. And while the consumption of these types of foods is certainly something I believe to be beneficial, it's important to keep in mind that they all contain Omega 6 EFA. That, in and of itself, is neither wrong nor harmful because these are healthy Omega 6 foods (and we need Omega 6's for optimal health). The problem is that the average diet contains far too much Omega 6 EFA (oftentimes from less-than-desirable choices, such as saturated fat foods) and not enough Omega 3 EFA. We need to get more Omega 3's in our diet and arguably the best way to do that is via fish such as salmon and/or via fish oil supplements such as the Carlson Norwegian Salmon Oil (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/salmon-oil.so.html).

It is my opinion that we need to cut back severely on the Omega 6's from saturated fat foods and opt for better choices, such as those mentioned in the article. Also, I do not believe it is necessary to supplement with a combined Omega 3/6 supplement (such as flax seed oil)... I think that an "Omega 3 only" product (fish oil) is definitely preferable.

The B vitamins - in particular folic acid and B12 - are intimately involved in healthy red blood cell production. You'll receive a very good dose of all the B vitamins in Premium Insurance Caps, but I'd suggest taking a tablet of Xobaline (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/xobaline.xb.html) - our sublingual (under the tongue) folic acid/B12 product - once a day.

Vitamin C plays a huge role in red blood cell production, and though you'll get some in Premium Insurance Caps, I believe additional amounts are beneficial for a number of reasons. I personally take, in addition to what I receive from Premium Insurance Caps, 1000 mg of vitamin C three times daily. I use a neutral pH/buffered form of vitamin C called Ester C (aka calcium ascorbate). I tend to prefer this form of C because it's less irritating on my stomach as compared to "regular" vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Lastly, for your key races, you might want to consider doing a 4-day loading dose of Race Day Boost (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products/race-day-boost.rdb.html). This is a pretty amazing product, with one of its attributes is that it increases/maximizes a compound found in red blood cells known as 2,3 diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG). This molecule helps release oxygen from hemoglobin into the muscle cells. An increase in 2,3-DPG will improve the availability of oxygen to working muscles for the process of creating ATP.

I realize this is a lot of information to digest (no pun intended) but I hope that you'll find the information helpful.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Steve Born
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Re: Blood Oxygen Levels

Postby mitch_b24 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:16 pm

Steve,

Thank you so much for this information, I will have to reread this a few times to wrap my mind around it! I currently use the Race Day Boost prior to "A" races and I can tell a huge difference in performance. Also I have found my mood is much better while taking this product, not sure if that is something others benefit from but I know I feel it.

Again thank you for the info, I will read the articles and put this into action!

Mitch
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